Finding Alive and Powerful

I am powerful. I am Alive.

Perhaps that is the biggest breakthrough I have had in 2020.

To be honest, I never wanted power. Partly because I thought power was wrong and partly because I didn’t understand power. I looked at power as a dictatorship. A way to hold authority over someone. A higher level of being and living. Now I look at it through different eyes.

I’ve been silent on this blog again, mostly because I’ve been rumbling so deeply with inner longings and questions. I asked God awhile back if I’m wrong to be asking so many questions…searching in so many places for answers and insights and points of view. I felt God tell me that I should keep asking. Keep searching. Staying open.

While I love learning new things and following new bunny trails, I do not enjoy the loss of control and certainty it leads me to. I want things down pat. I want an answer key and a gold star so I can effortlessly float along on others thinking and be a grade A woman.

Except I don’t. Fitting into a mold has never gone well for me. The quote ‘Not all who wander are lost’ is a very fitting one for my life. Wandering is my specialty and I can delve into different subjects and walk all around in them and lose myself in inspiration and information. I can pop back to earth just as fast.

I’m forever changed by my wandering. I’m learning to embrace it and view it as a good thing!

I’ve been asking a LOT of questions in 2020. Haven’t we all?

My theme word for this year was Alive.

I wanted to become the flame. The burning pulsing throb of heat and life and radiance.

I didn’t know what the year would bring. Who could have guessed?

Sometimes we need to walk through seasons of numbness in order to find the flame.

I wrote my aliveness in moments. Expecting little but knowing that staying present was a gift to myself as well as others. It wasn’t the way I thought it would be. This aliveness. I learned a bit more about letting go of expectations and letting the ALIVE find its own waterway through my heart.

Recently, I dreamed that I was weeping alone in a dewy lawn of grass when a figure approached me. I immediately knew it was Jesus. He didn’t say anything and I had no idea how to address Him. I did know I had a whole long list of questions for Him though!

He didn’t ask me for an explanation for my tears. He just stood there with me. Present in my wondering. I was awaken at that exact moment by my three year old. I couldn’t ask Him my long list, but His Presence stayed with me.

I know now that The Presence is always with me. There is no rush to find my Aliveness. There is nothing wrong with sitting in the discomfort and the growing pains. I know that every time I open my heart to the Divine and follow the nudge I feel, more knowing will come to me.

I am not a disappointment to God. I am not a broken fragment of His plan for my life.

Neither are you.

There is no rush to this discovery of Life. When we trust Christ, we are viewed through eyes of love and peace. We are seen whole. Unbroken. Powerful. Alive.

The ALIVE is already inside us.

It’s OURS to embrace.

We have so much Power. We have so much LIFE.


Be A Child 

It’s getting late but sleep hasn’t found me yet. I haven’t written in a long time. I know. I keep shoving it off. Thinking that eventually I will find my voice again. Call it processing life or writers block or busy holidays or laziness. Whatever it was…I’m back. Because when I can write, I feel alive. Life makes more sense. 

I have a whole huge Rubbermaid tote of journals (plus more 😉) that I poured my heart out in as I grew up. I remember my very first tiny journal with the cute cat and the clasp lock and the purple binding. I was 8 years old and it was a dream birthday gift that I adored. I still have it. When I was eight, my journal and my rollerskates were my favorite things. I felt alive when I flew down the country road on those skates. I felt deep happiness and thrills when I stroked the gold gilted  journal pages. It was fun to be eight! 

A kid at heart. Growing up among animals and creeks and a whole farm to play on . Dreaming of fresh strawberry pie with mounds of whipped cream. Sitting in my favorite magnolia tree with the perfect y shaped branch that cradled my little self. It was there that I dreamed dreams of rescuing babies and wrote poems about nature. 

Tonight spoke deeply to my heart. Pastor Steve spoke about children. About how we place kids in a box by thinking they will eventually grow up and be the people that make a difference. Like they are on some kind of probation until they get it all together and figured out. But God told Isaiah…”Don’t say that I am just a child….you will go where I send you!” We NEVER have to figure it all out before we can bring God glory!  

You are not ‘just a child either’. In fact, Jesus said the ONLY way to get to heaven is to become as little children. Pastor Steve gave a wonderful example of this by having a whole group of kids gather at the front of the church. He asked them questions, since they are the MASTERMIND of QUESTIONS! 😄 They were so honest. So innocent. So point blank and uncomplicated in their answers. No agenda or hidden meanings. No fear of saying the wrong thing or embarresment that their favorite thing about Christmas was gifts😊 And yes, Jesus was of course mentioned as well 👍

Then they sang a beautiful song for us. Now I know that every mother immediately looks for her child in a group. That her heart does this crazy little happy dance when their eyes meet. But when I saw my little Kobe up there, my heart did all these crazy jumps. Because, you see, he was our surprise child. Our miracle baby. His was the first voice I heard call me Momma. His were the first steps I watched wobble across the floor. It hurt at the same time because his older sister can’t show me the wonder of it until we get to Heaven. While she should have been the first to show me these things, God created her for a different kind of wonder and glory. Her life was a pure, living testimony of God’s love. And she was so wonderfully beautiful! She was so good at it! 

I sat there, weeping through the song. Wishing Kierra could be up there with him. Wishing he had a sister to share Christmas joy with. I wept because he could just as well have been nonverbal and held in my arms tonight. He could have never taken a step, or lifted one hand to heaven in worship. But he was singing and worshiping God with his little hands raised high as he sang. He was alive and moving and smiling and standing proudly with his friends. While part of me wept for what Kierra will never do here on earth, another part of me wept with happiness for him and the miracle I was watching right before my eyes. Our child. Was lifting his eyes to heaven and praising His Creator. 

//Come all ye faithful

See the love, see the grace

That is born unto us tonight

Come all ye broken
See the love see the hope

That restores everything that’s been lost
In the silence of the night,

All the stars bow down
Hear the angels sing?

Jesus Christ is born unto us this day
Hope has come to us tonight

Death is drowned out by His light
Hope is here and He’s alive

Takes our pain and lifts our eyes
Come all ye weary

See the peace see the joy

That’s been born unto us tonight
Come sons and daughters and rejoice in His love
For in His name the world will find its hope
In the silnece of the night,

All the stars bow down
Hear the angels sing?

Hallelujah! //-by Generation Unleashed.

I like to think Kierra listened from Heaven and even joined him. I like to think she smiled and danced and twirled in joy. If she could see me now, I think she would show me how she worships. How her pure child heart is exactly what Heaven needed. How her glory brings God glory. 

I hold this truth close to my heart. Be you. Bring glory to God in whatever way He has created you.

Be simple. Be real. Never stop asking and marveling in wonder. Be a child. 


Mother’s Day and Grief

“Let us then with confidence 

Draw near to the throne of grace

That we may recieve mercy 

And find grace  to help 

In time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16

Sometimes life comes at you like a train wreck and you feel an inevitable collision headed straight for your heart. Time marches on and has no mindfulness of stepping aside and tiptoeing around pain. So I am learning to tip toe.

Mother’s Day is just a few days away and I have had a rough week to be totally honest. This past week has been full of exceptionally wonderful times even as I slug through emotional lows and grief. I strained an arm muscle last week and it has been a nagging ache ever since, my shoulders hurt from doing a rock job that I plan to write about later since I learned some really valuable lessons, working in dirt and rocks for hours on my knees, I have bruises on my legs from unidentifiable times and while I was cleaning up the back yard, I backed into an ugly,nasty ,sharp tree branch that was waiting to be turned into fire wood. My wheelbarrow load of extremely heavy soil and weeds tipped over and took me with it. I have nasty scratches on my legs that sting. I was baking huckleberry scones and the parchment paper slid off the pan into the 450 degree oven and I burned every finger down to the phalanges. Well, not quite 🙂  my four year old had meltdowns for strange reasons this week and he ate dates out of a bulk food bin at the store. He has an abscess in his mouth and hid behind me, jumping away from my hands when ever I tried to catch him in the Dr. office. 

Physically I was a wreck. My hormones were screaming at me. My muscles ached and my bones were ‘like water’….-(King David). I was so cold and I couldn’t get warm. This seemed to drag on all week long. Not a pretty picture for Mother’s Day. 

But there was a saving grace. I felt God near. I had dinner with a friend who spoke words of life and prayed for me. I got a hug from a beautiful soul I had never met before. She put her arms around me and held me while I cried because I missed Kierra so very much. I had little messages of Gods love and grace sprinkled through every day. I felt so very loved and blessed, while I felt so weak and helpless.

Grief is tricky and you can’t always predict what  will trigger an emotion or a memory. But you can learn to slow down. To breathe. To tip toe. To take time to acknowledge how you are feeling. To be OK with that feeling. I am learning to take that emotion to Jesus. Just telling Him, “I don’t know why I’m feeling like this right now, but I am. I need You!” takes the pressure off myself and my feeble attempts to analyze and fix myself. I can never fix myself but My Father has the perfect solution to every single thing I face. So I rest my case in His love.

For years, I struggled with accepting compliments. To often there was a barrier in my mind like a 10 ft wall, 3 foot thick. I deflected words of kindness and compliments. I turned my mind into denial mode. Instead of allowing encouraging words to bless me and build me up,  I chose to look at my faults and short comings by adding thoughts in my mind like, “if you only knew…” Somehow, in a weird way, I think I was trying to be the be the perfect Mommy in order to fill in the aching gaps in my life. Human perfection and striving can never fill in the gaps. Only God’s grace, acceptance of life, and acknowledging Truth will filter light into those dark spaces. Genuine, beautiful LIGHT! 

Negative thoughts are always destructive. 

“I am not enough.”

“I am such a mess. No one knows how I act under pressure at home.”

” I will never be good enough.”

Those words are all so starkly true, and I came to the place that I realized my total brokenness and dependance on God. But. His grace and love and forgiveness came in and took that sin away. To continue thinking negatively and constantly refusing to accept words of life and blessing, causes patterns of more grief and confusions. That kind of grief is so wearying and wearing that no mommy can stand under it. 

This Mothers Day I want to celebrate the good God has placed in me. I want to thank every one of my friends for telling me that I was a good Mommy to Kierra. That I am a good Mommy to Kobe. I want to embrace the beauty God has placed in me. The love He has redeemed me with that calls me His daughter. His bride. I want to rest in the hands of the One who created my Mommy heart. I want to revel in how very loved I am. How I was fashioned and born from the heart of God. 

A Mother’s heart hangs onto impossible hope. 

It bleeds compassion. 

It smiles and laughs for the sake of the children when it wants to howl at the cold unfair world.

It gives when it is inconveniate and exhausted…

Because it is born out of the heart of God.

Birthed with struggle.

Birthed from pain. 

Birthed for beauty.

It is a strong heart that stretches down to the depths of earthly hell, physical death, gut wrenching heartache, and it rises to eternal hope and the realms of heavenly beauty.

It is bigger then us. 

Because it is born from the heart of God. 

We can’t control it.

We can’t understand it.

We can’t always follow it.

But we can GIVE it. 

It is created for Gods glory.

And it is beautiful.

“For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory.  

All glory to Him forever!” Romans 11

No matter what situation you find yourself in this Mother’s Day, I want to ask you to simply BELIEVE!

Believe that you are loved. Beautiful. Gifted for your task. Cradled in God’s arms. He hasn’t forgotten you or overlooked your pain. He sees your struggle. You can simply rest in Him. He will fill in the hard places. He delights in you and accepts you right now, just the way you are. 

If you knew….really knew how MUCH God loves you, your insecurities would fade away. He loves you the most….because He is divine like that. 

Live like you are loved like crazy. Because you are!

And all through the day, tell Jesus how much you love Him!


Thoughts On Life · Uncategorized

BELIEVE and a Giveaway!

It’s cold. It’s winter.


And in just a few days, it will be another thing.

our seventh wedding anniversary.

I think this is the perfect time for a little give away to my lovely friends on this blog! So here it is…

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A Christmas Light Canvas.

Read a bit farther to understand why I chose the word BELIEVE and to see how to enter the drawing to win.

I hope that this winter finds a glow in your heart. The privilege to BELIEVE. even when it’s hard.

A bit over 8 years ago, my Big Guy and I met for the very first time.

I from the East.

He from the West.

Just in case you didn’t know, I LOVE a happy, fuzzy romantic love story. One of our first ‘run ins’ was at the bottom of a Rocky Mountain foothill under a gorgeously lovely moon that was edging the frigid clear night with it’s impossibly soft warmth…..

a perfect set up for some heart sparks to fly.

Instead, I was bleeding red all over the front of Steve’s grey jacket and was convinced that every breath would be my last. That’s what happens when the most lovely innocent toboggan ride with girlfriends ends abruptly.That’s what happens when barbed wire meets face.

Cruel cold steel wired across flesh. And scars were created. It was ugly. And scary. And not at all what I planned.

I don’t believe in omens but do I believe in God’s omnipotent plan for our lives. Sometimes, in my wandering moments, I wonder if God was trying to tell us something way back then. That He makes beauty out of bloodshed. He keeps us breathing when we have no strength left to keep going.That life doesn’t always make rational sense.

Exactly a year after that accident, my heart had come a long way. I was learning trust and love and commitment and laying down silly notions and ideas. (yeah. i’m still working on that stuff:)

One thing was bigger then ever…those lovely heart sparks were flaming higher and hotter then ever! We were getting married!

December 7, 2006

The day I thought I would die.

December 7, 2007

The day I promised my life to the best Big Guy in the world.

happy happy wedding day!!!

(i laugh to think of all the near disasters that surrounded even that day)

The ironic thing was, the year before, I had gone west to teach a tiny school and carve out time with my Heavenly Father and try to figure out some hard questions of life. I wasn’t interested in guys.

But girls will be girls.

And when that true Love steals into your heart no matter how much you try to deny it….well, lets just say I was honored and thrilled!

It’s been seven years. There’s been bloodshed in our hearts. But there’s also been warm hugs that take in all the pain. So much love that pain morphs into beauty.

So many wonderful moments and happiness.

But we still live in a fallen world. As long as we are here, we face it.

Sometimes its hard to BELIEVE.

When I want my way and I don’t want to play fair and I am sure we are heading for disaster. When I let ridiculously small unimportant everyday things turn into a monstrous block wall. When I bang my head against it and wonder why it doesn’t budge. When I misunderstand.

It’s hard to believe.

When life hands me things I never asked for and warps my confidence that God is good. All the time.

It’s hard to believe.

When I don’t know what will happen next in life and it feels like your stuck in the waiting room. And you don’t want to be there.

It’s HARD to believe.

When others hurt and you can’t take away their pain.

It’s hard to BELIEVE!

I never would have believed my life if you had laid it out orderly for me while I was packing my bags for Montana 8 years ago.

It has been so wonderfully GOOD and GRAND!

But it’s also been brutally hard.

(Don’t we all have our own hard battle to face!?)

It is my life. And I embrace it.

Because I believe!

And that’s all because of God, my loving Father, who has PROMISED


to keep me and never leave me.

My husband. My amazing wonderful Big Guy that has taught me to trust and love and given me a safe place for my heart to come home.

My angel cchildren in heaven

the Wee One we never met,

Kierra Raine.

who’s name is music to my ear

longing in my heart,

hope in my future.

Kobe Xander

who amazes me

challenges me

calls me Mom.

and I love like crazy.

I believe

because God has put so much love and peace and hope in the midst of the blood and tears.


So here’s my wish for you this Christmas.

The chance to experience God.

And believe.

It’s something we must each do for ourselves.

Let me assure you. He will meet you and love you and forgive you.

He delights in you.

Just believe.

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So here’s the deal.

This is a white canvas done in Silver script and snowflakes with 50 lights. It measures 16×20 in. and has easy access to the Christmas light’s plug.

Leave your name in the comments below to enter this giveaway. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 8. 

I will contact the winner for their shipping address and you should receive it in no time at all 🙂


Praying For The Kuhn Family


This lovely family is Joe and RoseAnn Kuhns.
They were in a tragic accident last night. It rained all day yesterday. A steady dripping rain. Last night their car lost control, and in an eternal instant, there was an awful crash.

Joe is in the hospital for observation. RoseAnn is in critical care in Lancaster General. Janna, 14, is in Hershey Hospital. ( she is standing on the far right in the back on their picture) Hershey has a Pediatric Trauma Center. I heard she was also in critical condition, but I do not know her status this morning. The other four children were not along.

Jennie, 11, went to be with Jesus.



I did not get to know their family as well as i would like over the last two years since we were very busy taking care of Kierra. When we did make it to church, I would sit on the back bench beside Kierra and just watching Jennie’s exuberant, radiant smile flashing around was enough to cheer anyone up!

One of the first times i met RoseAnn, i immediately noticed the depth and kindness to her eyes. She asked me how she could specifically pray for me. She cared about people. Her and Joe can to visit us at the hospital when we were there with Kierra more then once. They drove a long way. RoseAnn is gentle radiance. Now she is in Critical Condition. Her family needs her so badly. She has a little three year old that is about Kierra’s age. She helped them be friends.

Please! Join me in prayer for all of them! Especially for her right now. I do not know the extent of her inguries, but she was in emergency surgery last night. Things like this are impossible to understand. There are no words, but God , who hears our hearts when words cannot be uttered, is bending His ear today!

Special Kids · Uncategorized

Kierra Runs

How do you pack love into 24 hours? Enough love to last a life time? It’s totally, 100% impossible. Every moment seems like hours and yet passes in a breathe.

Knowing that Kierra likely wouldn’t get better was horrible. Watching her die brought on a whole new meaning of unbearable.

The crazy thing about it was the peace and strength that held us up when our hearts and lives were totally falling apart. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the same strong arms that are holding Kierra are the same ones that held us together that last day and also the ones that are holding us now. Even when the coldness creeps into your heart and seeps into all the tiny cracks and you think you will never be warm again. Jesus, our Creator, is still there. Forever and always.

I really have no idea what to write about that last day because it all blurs together in my mind. I am so thankful we had it though. That we could hug our darling and kiss her and tell her she didn’t have to be afraid and that Jesus was waiting for her. My family got to come see her one last time, and friends that meant the world to her came and gave her sweet little face one last kiss.

On Tuesday when I took her to the ER, I was expecting to have a belly X-ray done to check the placement of her feeding tube. She was breathing very rapidly, but she has done that before, so I wasn’t overly concerned about it. I still can barely wrap my mind around why this time, she got so bad. so fast.

The ER doctors ordered a Vaportherm for her. She’s been on this before. It is a higher, more forceful, vaporized flow of oxygen. After being on that for a few hours, she seemed more comfortable, but was still breathing as rapidly as ever, around 80 breathes a minute. (yep, that IS super fast!) They tried several times to get an IV in, but her veins always blew for them. Finally, a nurse from PICU came down, and with an ultrasound machine, she found a vein, and inserted a line. We were SO thankful! However, it was a very temporary vein, and had the risk of blowing at any time.

In order to get her breathing stabilized, the Respiratory Therapist tried putting her on a CPAP machine. This is an oxygen type mask that goes over the mouth and nose to provide additional oxygen flow and ‘umph’. She absolutely HATED it and would under no circumstances tolerate it.

You know your child is critically ill when your room is suddenly teaming with Doctors from all over the hospital and medical personnel and your ears begin to ring and the room gets stifling hot and you grab hold of the last shreds of your mind power that remains and tell yourself firmly, “GET HOLD OF YOURSELF.”

All I had to do was take one look at the Doctor’s faces to see the fine tension lining them. When Kierra’s kidney Doctor that we have known since we began her care in Delaware, stepped into the room I saw a new sadness around his eyes. There were actually TWO kidney Doctors there. Both wonderful caring physicians who have been so supportive and helpful. My mind felt like it was about 10 leaps behind what my eyes were seeing. I was seeing reality in their faces, but my heart and mind were still way back the road,stuck at the yellow light of ‘she is just a bit sick’.

That red light was actually flashing steadily. I just wasn’t ready to admit it yet.

The Critical Care Doctors took over and Kierra was rapidly whisked up to ICU. I still honestly had no clue how bad she was. Steve had tried calling me in the middle of the hubbub and I wasn’t really making much sense to him and told him I would call him back later.

Kierra LOVED the ride up to PICU. Arms thrown wide out, little head turning happily from side to side, she was thrilled with the whoosh of air over her face. No one was messing with her face or poking needles into her arms and feet.She didn’t care that she was causing alot of rapidly flying hands and feet. She was a little Princess, snuggly with her pink blanket, having the ride of her life.

I even attempted a little joke about it. The hospital staff glanced at me sideways. They most likely thought i was one loco mommy.  🙂

When we got to the quiet of the ICU room, the Attending Critical Care Doctor took one look at her and shook his head. He said he has seen this before. When children this young are working this hard to breathe, they literally wear out. She may last for two hours. Or overnight at the most.

Six hours after her first x-ray, a repeat x-ray showed a total haziness over her lungs compared to a bit of haziness at the bottom of her lungs. The infection was spreading at a deadly rate.

We had a really tough choice to make. If we wanted to give her a chance of survival, we had to move fast. I left the room to give Steve a call. I tried hard to hold myself together. To at least make sense, but my mind was spinning so fast, and that awful ringing was echoing in my head again. Steve hadn’t been  planning to come down for the night, but those plans changed really fast! I asked him if the Doctor could please talk to him, since I wasn’t sure how accurately I could tell him what was wrong.

The Doctor, a social worker, and I made a conference call to him in a small family room. It helped to hear it all repeated, slowly, in comprehensive language. The Doctor did an amazing job of being clear and concise and not wasting words. We had two options. keep her as comfy as possible, and expect her to likely pass away by morning, or insert a more stable central line into a main artery and give her a chance to fight the infection. They made it very clear that she likely would not make it even with a central line, but by having that line, they would have much better access in giving her antibiotics, pain meds, and blood draws. In order to put the line in, she would need to be sedated. In order to safely do this procedure, she would need to be intubated. ( put on life support) They also warned us there was a very good chance she would not be able to successfully come off the life support. Her lungs may never recover sufficiently to breathe on their own again.

The social worker was so wonderfully supportive and kept telling me she would be here with us to support us no matter what happens. Once again, my brain was screaming at her “Nothing is GOING to happen! You don’t know Kierra. She is a FIGHTER!” But my face just tried to smile and said “Thankyou!” because reality was staring me in the eyes.

We decided to put the central line in, and give her about 24 hours , then remove the breathing tube. That central line sounded very attractive to us. We didn’t want her to have to suffer, and since her IV line was so precarious, we didn’t want to risk the chance of having no access to her for pain medication. I was DONE with having her poked and pricked. I was not having it ONE MORE TIME anytime soon. With a central line, we were hoping to give her the best level of comfort possible.

The Doctors set the wheels in motion. I cried a bit on Carolyn’s shoulder and told her she could take our van home. Steve was on his way down, and I had alot of ugly, hard calls to make. I wasn’t even sure I could hold it together enough to make any sense on the phone. I imagined how this news would ‘ruin’ so many peoples nights, and I felt sorry for that too. I wished I could just crawl into bed with Kierra and make this all go away.

I never did muster the courage to call my family. I think God knew I needed a call from them. My sister, Karen called to see how Kierra was doing, and I broke the hard news to her with much more calmness then I dreamed possible.

Steve finally arrived and we walked down the hallway to Kierra’s room together. She was resting so peacefully, her breathing regulated by the breathing machine. She looked so comfortable and relaxed and I immediately noticed her cute little nose that had been covered with an oxygen canula for so long. Even with all the tape and the tube in her mouth, she looked absolutely darling adorable to me.

That night, Steve and I took turns staying with her. We tried to get a bit of rest because we had no idea what was coming the next day. She kept trying very hard to wake up and they had to give her sedatives often to keep her calm and comfortable. She would squeeze our fingers, and even open her eyes and gaze around. I snuggled up as close to her as I could for awhile and she rested well. As soon as I sat up, she started thrashing around, and fighting her tube. She was still very much aware of what was going on around her!

Dads. Joe and Mona, Jason and Karen, and Warren and Dorcas all came up the next day. It was a very tough, emotional, precious day. We sang her favorite “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

A repeat x-ray did not show much improvement. We had a conference with Kierra’s medical team around lunch time.  There was little chance of her recovering. We knew God could still heal her if He chose to, but we didn’t want to keep her on the breathing tube as life support. Now that we had a central line, we felt we needed to remove the tube. We decided to do it around 7PM. That would give Kobe and anyone else time to come to the hospital to say Goodbye. Steve and I took a little break after the meeting and tried to grasp the reality we were facing. We were strangely both starving hungry. So hungry we were light headed. (Isn’t that just weird!) We went down to the cafeteria with Dorcas and Warren and ate enough to keep us going.

Linda and her girls brought Kobe down in the afternoon. The Child Life Specialists came by and did some fun painting projects with the children and took a mold of Kierra’s hand prints.

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We all helped to make a big family tree with our thumbprints. Kobe was thrilled with the finger paints and I know Kierra would have loved it too if she had been awake enough to talk! Painting was always one of her favorite things to do.

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Kierra was sedated very heavily part of the time, and other times, she would move enough to let us know she could hear us. She always loved her Grandpa’s special whistle he had for her. She stirred happily when she heard it. Just like this picture of her and her night nurse… she is peeking her eyes open, wishing she could give a kiss back.

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Sadie sang her a song and talked to her. Kierra gave her a little wiggle.

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Then way too soon, we had to help Kobe tell her Good- Bye.

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Kobe did so well with all the tubes and lines, but I could tell, deep in His eyes, that he was sad and felt like something was wrong. He prayed for her often!


Mervs took him home and tucked him gently into bed.

The next hours were the worst of our whole lives. Our family waited for us patiently in the family room. It was torture for them as well. I was hoping for some grand lifting or revelation or holy experience at the end of her life. There was nothing except the hard sounds of her labored breathing, and the soft flow of tears from our eyes. I think I heard our hearts breaking too.

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At first, she did OK with her oxygen. And snuggled into our arms.last days 043

But after awhile, she became very agitated. It got to the point where we removed the canual and just kept a ‘blow by’ there to give her little poofs to help her settle. The nurse gave her morphine at frequent intervals. We were so thankful we could be in the hospitle with a wonderful medical staff to keep her comfortable.

We told her how much we loved her and that she could go to Jesus and didn’t have to be afraid.

It felt so horribly wrong. Holding your little three year old, with a whole room full of medical, life saving equipment at our finger tips. All we could do is weep and tell her over and over how much we loved her. We were letting her go. Because no matter how much we longed to keep her, we knew she would be so much happier.

My thoughts went all over creation in those three hours.I felt like leaping up and running away. A whole world away from this painful scene. My head was screaming at me to do something, but my heart was reminding me of another scene.

A scene where pain and love met thousands of years ago. Where God turned His back on His Son. And let Him die. So that New Life could be born. Jesus loved us so much that He died for us, with all our human sinfulness. And God let Him.

That just blows my mind!

It’s  the only reason we can be in heaven with Him and our Kierra someday. Surely I could trust the heart of the One who watched His very own Son suffer to death. It didn’t make any sense. It felt SO WRONG. But at the same time, it was the only love we had left to give our daughter.

The love of freedom. For ever FREEDOM.

So we held her through the last hours of her life.

When the nurse came in to reconnect her silenced monitors, we asked her when we would know that she was gone. Her breathes were coming farther and farther apart. Just when we thought she was gone, she would breathe again. We could hear the fluid, rising in her lungs. The suspense was brutal. The nurse kindly told us that when her heart stopped beating, she was gone. (amazing how the simplest facts elude you at times like this).

I had given Kierra to Steve to hold sometime in the middle of the three hours. I could tell that she immediately relaxed when she was nestled in his arms. It was where she needed to be. Where she wanted to be. her daddy was her Hero!

Now as her breathing became farther and farther apart, I laid my hand over her little heart. I was amazed at that strong little pitter pat that played against my fingertips. It was beautiful. Just as a mother never forgets that patter of kicks in the womb, so I will never forget that delicate pitter pat against my fingertips. It literally felt like music.

Then suddenly, with no warning. It was gone. And I whispered brokenly. “Run! Run to Jesus!”

And He took her up in His arms…


I know she is safe. Forever. Even if we miss that sweet cuddly little girl.

My family and Merv and Linda came in after she had flown to heaven and hugged us and held her and wept with us. They even managed to sing a sweet song before they left for their own families, who needed them.

We were so totally weary, we could barely put one foot in front of the other. We left the daughter we knew all tucked into a clean bed, her hands sweetly folded one last time. The hospital hallway seemed endless and each step away from her weighed a ton, but we made it. Down the elevator. Out to the car. And crashed into a hotel bed a few miles down the road. We were too exhausted to even think of going home until we had slept a bit. We did sleep, although the reality hit us UGH! in the face again in the morning.

So many plans waited our attention. So many comforting arms and caring hearts. So many people that were the hands and feet of Jesus to us. So many acts of kindness were showered on our bewildered hearts. We can’t thank you enough.

The hurting isn’t gone yet, but I think the healing has begun.

It will take until Eternity to be completely healed, though! Because we were created for so much more then all of this life.



Funeral Arrangements

Calling Hours, Funeral and Burial will be at

Gap View Mennonite Church

5385 Mine Rd. Kinzers PA 17535

Calling hours are on Saturday Feb. 1, from

2:00 PM- 4:00 PM and from 6:00-8:00 PM.

The funeral will be on Sunday Feb. 2, at 10:00.

If you need lodging or transportation from the airport, contact Mark at 717-283-6558.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

We also plan to record the service and post it online so those of you who can’t make it can view it later if you wish.

Thank you for all your prayers! We feel God’s arms around us even though our hearts are breaking.



Mom Life · Uncategorized

The Marvelous Diaper

Today was Kobe’s 18 month appointment with the Dr. I was in a big rush as I grabbed him, his drink, my bag, a huge pillow for the laundromat, soap for the pillow, water for me. I headed out the door with a quick goodbye to my husband who was so kindly watching Kierra for me.

It wasn’t until we were in the waiting room, looking at Dr. Suess and waiting for the nurse’s call that I smelled that suspicious scent.  I heard the little grunt and watched the face scrunch up and I reached for my bag and Kobe’s hand to head off for a diaper change. We entered the small cold floored bathroom with  portable handicap rails around the toilet and glanced around. There was no changing station. And at the same time, I realized there was no pamper in my bag. I had my small bag today since it was just Kobe and I, but even then, I searched it nearly four times, before I convinced myself that I could not make a diaper appear.

So we cheerfully headed out to the van. I remembered putting a stash under the seat just the other week. Just our luck! Under the seat was empty. There was no pamper in the glove compartment or under the other seat or in Kierra’s chair or floating around among the stuff behind the passenger seat.

So we hopefully headed back to the office, and I tried to act charming and OK as I asked the nurse if they would by any possibility have a pamper on hand.

This is a Family Doctor’s office and I have personally only seen 3 people under 50 yr. there as patients I believe.

She searched here and there and I heard the word ‘nappy’ and tried to recall if they actually used to call pampers by that name.

No luck.

We had waited nearly half an hour now, and no way was I about to lose my slot in line by running to the grocery store for a PAMPER!!

So we headed back to the bathroom, and I began undressing Kobe without a very good idea of what to do next.(besides getting rid of that awful odor!)  The only usable items I could find in the bathroom were white stiff prefolded paper towels and plastic trash bags. So I grabbed a stack of towels, folded them around him like a diaper, and quickly pulled his shorts up for rubber pants. Only they weren’t rubber. So We took a big black trashbag and returned to the waiting room and he sat nicely on my lap and browsed my Kindle as we waited some more. This might just work! I thought. (Thank God for Kindles!)

Eventially, we made it back to the room, and the nurse chuckled abit and began taking down general information as Kobe peed  through the stack of paper towels, through his shorts, down his legs, and off of the trash bag.

She suggested that I use one of those blue water proof disposable pads that you find on scales and changing tables in Doctor’s offices. So I gratefully accepted one and was stuck with the problem of HOW to keep it ON!!!???

Maybe growing up on a farm and watching my Dad improvise was in my favor. If i pulled hard enough and Kobe held still long enough, I could tie the two ends together on each side into a sort of knot.

It was actually kinda cute…minus the fact that it wasn’t very tight or leak proof! But it sure beat holding my breath at every turn and standing ready with a trash bag!

An hour and a half later, we exited the building. leaving behind 3 or 4? wetted pads, a peed on carpet (shhh! don’t tell! i seriously TRIED to clean it up with hand sanitizer and paper towels! i promise!). We took some souvenirs with us-  my peed on skirt, and Kobe’s peed shorts, (safely tucked in my now empty wipe container) .

I was THRILLED to get home!!! And Kobe was so worn out, he was off in LaLa Land and didn’t even mind when I put a proper diaper on him!


Amazing how you improvise! And to think that thousands of children have no ‘nappy’ ..

Tonight I am thankful for diapers!